Giroud reaches cen­tury, Ever­ton held at home

The Jakarta Post - - SPORTS - Agence France-Presse

Olivier Giroud scored his 100th Arse­nal goal as a youth­ful Gun­ners side beat BATE Borisov 4-2 in Be­larus in the Europa League on Thurs­day, as Ever­ton were held to a shock 2-2 draw by 10man Apol­lon Li­mas­sol at Good­i­son Park.

Theo Wal­cott net­ted twice for the Gun­ners and Rob Hold­ing was also on tar­get as they eased to a sec­ond vic­tory in as many matches in Group H.

Arsene Wenger’s side beat Cologne 3-1 at home in their first out­ing a fort­night ago, and the Ger­mans lost again on Thurs­day, go­ing down 1-0 at home to Red Star Bel­grade.

Wenger made nine changes to the Arse­nal team af­ter they trav­elled to eastern Europe on the back of a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Al­bion on Mon­day.

Only Shko­dran Mustafi and Mo­hamed El­neny kept their places, while a num­ber of young­sters fea­tured with Joe Wil­lock be­ing handed a first se­nior start.

It was two com­par­a­tive vet­er­ans who com­bined for Arse­nal’s early opener, though, with Jack Wil­shere set­ting up Wal­cott to head in from close range.

Wal­cott made it 2-0 mid­way through the first half af­ter an aw­ful er­ror by BATE goal­keeper De­nis Scher­bit­ski, who mis­cued a clear­ance straight to the Eng­land for­ward.

Hold­ing then bun­dled in his first Arse­nal goal but a su­perb header by Mirko Ivanic al­lowed the Be­laru­sian cham­pi­ons to pull one back be­fore the half-hour.

Hold­ing and Wal­cott hit the wood­work and Giroud con­verted from the penalty spot early in the sec­ond half, be­com­ing the 19th player to reach a cen­tury of goals for Arse­nal.

That was not the end of the scor­ing, though, as Mikhail Gorde­ichuk got the hosts’ sec­ond of the night.

“When you score four goals away from home, you’re al­ways likely to win,” Wal­cott told BT Sport.

“There was a chance for me to take the penalty for a hat-trick, but know­ing Olivier was on 99 goals, it was a great op­por­tu­nity for him so that’s why he took the penalty.”

Spa­niard Hec­tor Yuste snatched Cypri­ots Apol­lon a point at Ever­ton.

Ever­ton were stunned less than 12 min­utes in as Adrian Sar­dinero took ad­van­tage of a mis­take from Ash­ley Wil­liams to bun­dle into the net.

But just as the crowd were start­ing to get on the home side’s backs, Wayne Rooney pounced on a woe­ful back-pass to score his third goal since re­turn­ing to Good­i­son Park from Manch­ester United.

Winger Nikola Vla­sic, 19, came off the bench and slot­ted into the cor­ner mid­way through the sec­ond half to score his first Ever­ton goal.

But af­ter Valentin Roberge was red-carded, Ron­ald Koe­man’s out-of-form hosts switched off and Yuste flicked in a header from a free-kick.

Ever­ton are now bot­tom of Group E, three points be­hind lead­ers Ata­lanta, who drew 1-1 against Lyon.

Pa­trick Cutrone struck in the dy­ing sec­onds to grab AC Mi­lan a 3-2 vic­tory over Croa­t­ian vis­i­tors Ri­jeka in a dra­matic Group D en­counter at the San Siro.

Mi­lan for­ward An­dre Silva con­tin­ued his ex­cel­lent Europa League form this sea­son, as he put them in front with his sixth goal in just three matches in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Ma­teo Musac­chio made it two for the seven-time Euro­pean cham­pi­ons, but Boadu Maxwell Acosty pulled one back with six min­utes left and Josip Elez drilled home an 90th-minute penalty.

There was still time, though, for Cutrone to con­vert Fabio Borini’s cross in the fourth minute of in­jury-time.

Mar­seille lost 1-0 away to Salzburg in Aus­tria in Group I while Ath­letic Bil­bao and Hertha Ber­lin both lost in Group J.

Loko­mo­tiv Moscow mid­fielder Manuel Fer­nan­des scored a hat­trick in­side the first 17 min­utes as the Rus­sians beat Czech out­fit Zlin 3-0 to go top of Group F.

In Group K, Alas­sane Plea scored twice as Nice beat Vitesse Arn­hem of the Nether­lands 3-0 in a game in­ter­rupted for around 15 min­utes due to flood­light fail­ure.

Former UEFA Cup win­ners Zenit St Peters­burg were 3-1 win­ners at home to Real So­ciedad in Group L.

AFP/Maxim Mali­novsky

Fly­ing French­man: BATE Borisov de­fender Alek­sey Rios (left) of Be­larus and Arse­nal for­ward Olivier Giroud of France vie for the ball dur­ing the UEFA Europa League Group H soc­cer match be­tween FC BATE Borisov and Arse­nal FC in Borisov, out­side Minsk, on Thurs­day.

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